3rd September 2014
Time for another Tweet Tasting, through Steve Rush (@thewhiskywire), this time for Tomatin (@tomatin1897) it promised to be a good evening and certainly didn’t disappoint. When the package turned up it was most interesting. Four numbered bottles, containing whisky and four smaller bottles containing varying goodies.
Once the tasting began all was revealed. The smaller numbered bottle all contained different types of sherry and were clues to the types of casks used. Here at Whisky Corner both Stewart and I are complete newbies to the world of sherry so this was particularly interesting.
The entire range is non chill filtered, 46% ABV and priced at £49.99 and is strictly limited to 1500 bottles of each of the four expressions, if you want one, you need to be quick. The spirit in each of the 4 expressions came from the same distillation on the 15th of January 2002. The whiskies were transferred for finishing on the 29th of June 2011 and were bottled on the 20th of August 2014, after spending nine years maturing in traditional American oak casks.
Fino Sherry Cask Finish
Slightly acetone, resin and fresh pencil shavings, gooseberry, rhubarb, honey, nectar and fresh orchard fruits. There is a sharp hint of citrus fruits coming through with salted lemons, orange and a hint of grated carrots. Given a little more time, floral notes come through like beautiful tiger lilies in full bloom, delicate rose and soft buttered toast.
Quite spicy and hot, definitely peppers coming in with the apples and gooseberry. Sweetness follows, sticky & treacle like before a dry biscuit base, like a pecan pie comes through. There are ripe gentle apples still coming through with that sharp greengage edge. It becomes candy floss sweet with water allowing the fruity notes to take over and the younger notes fade away. There are warm Opal Fruits (Starbursts for those too young to remember) juicy and fresh.
Manzanilla Sherry Cask Finish
More of a salted/sweet battle on the nose. There is a hint of damp earth wrapped around tropical bananas & mango there is some nuttiness, crunch walnuts and silky almonds. A little longer in the glass brings through bitter grapefruit balanced by sweet cantaloupe melon, there is slightly warmed hay, and cucumber freshness. The sweetness comes back through with a vanilla custard note coming through, grated Nutmeg and white pepper with a touch of lavender along the way
Very fruity just as the nose suggested, fruit salad sweets, that lovely melon sweetness, roasted chestnuts, and rich plums and juicy raisins with just a hint of saltiness on this. It’s doughy too, think large salted pretzels but drizzled with a pineapple jus & icing sugar. There is an interesting finish and as it starts to dry, the sweetness changes with, nuttiness coming to the fore like a strange mix of nougat and coconut husk, gritty yet the sweetness keeps this dram smooth.
12 yo Oloroso Sherry Cask Finish
Go home Christmas you’re drunk! love the rich fruit cake, molasses, cherries, sugar syrup, thyme and pine needles, even given time I am still picking up the lovely Christmas spices! There are cloves near the back of the palate and then in come some cranberries rolled in cinnamon too. Right at the back there is some star anise with orange, buttery crepe Suzettette giving it a little kick and a tang.
There is more fire on this one, it’s very sweet there’s a big caramel hit straight away but, curiously it’s a drying sweetness but bell pepper hot, with Indian spices a plenty. There’s cardamom, turmeric and a hint of paprika, it’s hard to stick with the savoury for long though as there is so much sweetness to be found. It’s like a dessert of baked figs, with fresh cream, in caramel and vanilla sugar. Some mascarpone with lemon and dates.
This is a dram that wants to be heavy, but it can’t, the typical Tomatin sweeter, floral style keeps it just about light until the dark notes come through as it opens up bringing with it warmed leather and some delicious rum raisin ice cream, and a definite note of dark, damp earth. There is a slightly dusty, vintage clothes feel to it.
Pedro Ximenez Cask Finish
Lots of dates, damson and brambles on this one, it rich sticky fruity cake, or for the Scottish very like a clootie dumpling, those lovely delicate spices are there and burnt Demerara sugar and sweet pannacotta. It evolves into something darker though, there is liquorice root, pink peppercorns, and call me crazy but, a gentle, floral saffron note still giving so much sweetness. If you make a rich coca cola reduction and poor it over succulent, salted gammon and then kicked that gammon through Santa’s Grotto, you are almost there. I love the thick, chewy notes just on the nose, you expect it to be viscous, blackcurrant jam, all spice, and orchids.
The Willy Wonka chocolate river, sticky fudge, vanilla cream, whipped cream, raisins, fudge brownies, a touch medicinal. There is gentle spice and this has Christmas cake written all over it. There are some lovely marzipan notes, but the fruits are the star of the show, dark and decadent to the end.
This is a great range and an absolute must have for sherry lovers. If you aren’t sure about sherry (I certainly wasn’t) then this the range that just may take everything you thought you knew about sherry and blow it out of the water completely and maybe it will change your mind. I always enjoy Tweet Tastings but this one was really educational, time for me to learn about sherry I think. Tomatin have the ABV on this range spot on and I always like to see a NCA range. This range is limited edition, so be quick off the mark. I think this will be hugely popular. Tomatin are going from strength to strength, keep an eye on them, they still have a lot of great things to come.